The Big Picture

April 3, 2012

Students from all over the world fill our classrooms. Each has their own story, their own aspirations and their own goals.

Meet Murphy McGary. 

As a full-time sophomore and a student photographer for Student Affairs Marketing, Murphy knows what it means to have big responsibilities and even bigger dreams. 

Murphy started at the university as a pre-nursing major but found she had passion elsewhere. Through her academic experience and also her position as a student photographer, she discovered that she thrived in creative work environments and switched her major to pre-visual communications. Hesitant at first to take the Student Affairs Marketing job, Murphy has no regrets in her decision to apply and switch majors. Murphy says, “The UA helped me find my niche – being plugged in and surrounded by supportive coworkers and peers helped me grow as a photographer and clarified what I want to accomplish for my undergrad.”

From Spring Fling all the way to Gabrielle Giffords one-year commemorative event, Murphy has covered it all. For her, the chance to photograph these events is a perk of the job because she’s able to participate in UA life in ways she never would have otherwise. She got an up close experience at the 2011 UA vs. ULCA football game when the infamous streaker made heads turn. “I remember firing photos one right after the other as he ran straight towards me,” says Murphy about her first time covering a college athletic event. Shortly after that debut, she covered the UA vs. Oregon State basketball game in which opposing team members got in a scuffle.  “Photography teaches you to be prepared for anything.” 

Murphy isn’t just prepared to get the best shot; she applies this “be prepared” attitude to her personal and academic life by always adapting and exploring her interests. In addition to her work for Student Affairs Marketing, Murphy freelances and works on projects of her own. She creates “visual essays” which feature her own photography and poems about contemporary life through her eyes.

Murphy’s goals aren’t exclusive. Her undergraduate goal is pre-visual communication but she hopes to get her masters in non-profit management. After school, she strives to work with sexually assaulted and trafficked victims. Obviously, her interests are very broad. Luckily, she found that she was able to explore all her passions, all in one place – the University of Arizona. That doesn’t necessarily mean she’s staying put. Murphy is currently studying in Australia through the Office of Study Abroad and Student Exchange.

So now you’ve heard Murphy’s amazing UA experience. What’s yours?